"As a resident of rural Pierce County, I am very concerned with the process being employed for this roundabout evaluation and the public outreach, communications and implications."
"The SR162 Sumner to Orting Congestion Study Report SR 162 MP 0.00 to MP 8.11 June 2017 was done with a variety of stakeholder involvement. However, not one....not one!... Valley resident, not a single member of the Community Planning Board, no local business owner, not a single farmer from this critical, last remaining predominantly agricultural region in the whole of Pierce County was invited, included or asked for input, nor participated in this study!"
"The SR162 & 128th Street East SR Milepost 6.11 Intersection Control Analysis July 31, 2018project is being cited as the data analysis leading to the conclusion that a roundabout is the preferred method of intersection control at this specific location. We have been told that the software model used in making this particular intersection study is the same as used in all their studies. We're being told it projects overall operational efficiency on a standard roundabout application. Let me perhaps be the first to tell you that this is not a typical roundabout application. I have been told repeatedly to visit a variety of other existing roundabout installations the DOT has completed around western WA. I have done this. To date, I have not seen" "that is in any way similar to the conditions we have at this specific location."
"In the p.m. peak hours, the majority of the traffic is heading south and passing through 3/4 of the roundabout to head east (an estimated 1600 vehicles per hour in 2030)." This will cause lane changing delays within the roundabout as traffic traveling north on SR162 must merge with two lanes of traffic that is exiting roundabout to the Tehaleh highway.
"For any location, and especially for this specific location, I believe traffic composition (i.e., the numbers of cars, trucks, school busses, farm tractors and equipment), origination (i.e. the direction that composition is coming from and how it will enter and transverse the roundabout), and destination (i.e. the direction that composition is going in and how it will transverse and exit the roundabout) are all extremely important factors that must be considered in the overall effectiveness of any proposed intersection control project analysis."
QUESTIONS THE WSDOT DID NOT KNOW OR COULD NOT ANSWER
"There is a major sand and gravel quarry within a mile of this intersection. The only permitted access to this quarry is by passing through this intersection both coming and going. They run tandem tractor/trailer rigs that are up to 90' long. In our last meeting, I asked how many trucks of this type are permitted to make daily/ hourly trips to this quarry" "(Just so you know, they are permitted to have 45 incoming and 45 outgoing loads per hour from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. M-F.) In addition, almost every truck approaches from the north and in doing so must travel 3/4 the way around the roundabout to exit east to access the quarry."
"of the 1725 trucks that utilize this corridor and pass through this intersection daily, what are the counts during peak hours?"
"There are 4 school districts that run busses weekdays, over 9 months per year." "how many school busses run through this intersection every day"
"since this is a major agricultural corridor and the farm fields are spread out the length of the corridor, how many agricultural vehicles (tractors, farm implements, farm equipment and agricultural product transportation vehicles) daily use this corridor."
"I believe the WSDOT has applied a standard, "cookie-cutter" approach, and it appears they believe today's roundabouts resolve all intersection capacity and control needs. I am very concerned that these important components have not been considered, and believe this deserves your immediate attention. I therefore am asking you to have this intersection control analysis redone, using all of the actual site-specific conditions for this specific application."
We share this letter to help you better understand some of the concerns we have regarding roundabouts on SR162. Not mentioned here is the impact that roundabouts will have on a valley lahar evacuation. Roundabouts will be a choke point to an already restrictive transportation corridor.